Is There Ever a Good Time to …?
Last week, I was discussing how an “extra” day off always turns into a trap. Instead of resting, relaxing, and reconnecting, we tend to use that time to do other tasks. After all, an extra day or two isn’t really enough time to actually de-stress our tired minds and bodies so it’s only natural that we make best use of that valuable time. Since there never seem enough hours in the day, we end up trying to catch up on tasks that normally fall through the cracks.
This brings me to the point. Is there ever a good time to rest and relax? Do you take a yearly family vacation or do you take a working vacation? Do you go away during your time off to completely let go of all your responsibilities or do you take a week off to get a few things done around the house? Do you ever turn off your cell phone? Could you go a whole week without email?
Taking a Break
The reality is that the majority of us don’t ever really take a break. There’s too much to do just keeping day to day running semi-smoothly. Perhaps that’s why the notion of retirement seems so appealing. After all, it’s the magic carrot that keeps us pushing so that someday we can do whatever we want (in theory anyways). Plus, you got to wonder if even golfing and drinking beer every day will eventually lose its luster. Of course, that’s assuming that can financially afford to do (and that you like golf and beer).
In any case, until you get to that magic day, there will never be enough time to take a much needed break. The reality is that there’s never going to be “spare” time. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever look at your to do list and say “Hey, I’m all done. I think I’ll take a nice long walk then have a nap or curl up and read a good book”.
That is, until your body gets stressed to the limits and you have a heart attack, get cancer, or get slowed down by a chronic condition like Fibromyalgia. Often it’s only when reality comes crashing down that we really pay attention to living. Whereas before it was impossible to take a day off or cut a work day short, suddenly our body makes the choice for us. We have no choice but to listen.
Do we really have to wait until our bodies collapse before we take a breather? I don’t think so. No, there’s never going to be a good time to take a break. What’s more is there’s never going to be a good time to find a better job, follow your dream, live healthier, or make any sort of changes in our lives.
Life doesn’t stop so that we can catch up, steady our nerves, or gain the necessary courage. No one hands these things to us. There’s no magic pill.
Priorities and Balance
Still, if we focus on living, on the priorities of this day and this week perhaps we’d make different choices. Maybe if we weren’t so focused on the thought that we’ll have all the time in the world when we retire, we’d start living now. Not in ten, twenty, or thirty years but today.
Perhaps we’d spend more time with people we love. Maybe we’d work on fulfilling a secret dream. We might even just take an hour or an afternoon to watch the clouds float by. Little things and the quiet moments that make each day count rather than waiting for some magical day that may not come or may not fulfill such high expectations.